Lords of The Battlefield

Nathaniel Hedington, Blogger

The dull clunking of wood striking wood was magnified dozens of times throughout the wide courtyard. It mixed with the steady counting of drillmasters running young soldiers through cadences, and the tramping of feet upon stone to form a percussive rhythm, the backbone of the song of war.


Here we are, the practice yards. Sparring areas for melee weaponry, ranges with a variety of targets for archery or thrown weapons and a selection of weighted training gear for mock-duels. It’s a good place to go if you intend to augment your abilities with martial skill. This is the domain of fighters, the go-to heavy hitters of any adventuring party.


The fighter is more than a simple thug or common soldier. Fighters are skilled combatants with a wide range of training to draw upon. As a rule, they are trained to be proficient with a dizzying array of weapons and practically all armor. A duelist favoring a rapier and donning a chain shirt, or a plate-mail clad juggernaut wielding a two-handed claymore could both be fighters, and either one would be a deadly opponent. 


There are three overarching types of fighters you should be able to recognize. There’s your champions, who train their raw physicality to perfection. You have your battle masters, who specialize in the finer technicalities of battle and who drill a variety of complex maneuvers. And finally, you’ll occasionally come across eldritch knights, fighters who augment their prodigious combative abilities with arcane magic. Each of these can form a solid line between the enemy and the rest of your party. Barbarians can dish out more punishment,clerics can often hold a line and fighters are like a stone wall that keeps your casters and ranged combatants out of harm’s way.


This way now, a bit away from the hustle of the drill yard. Aye, you noticed that scent? It’s sandalwood, pricey incense, but our next friends like to burn it for their meditations. Keep your voice down as we enter their temple, oh and take off your boots. This is the domain of monks. My friend Ju’Noh is around here somewhere. The great temples of the monks are all located far to the East, but over the centuries a few of their monastic traditions have found their ways across the world to us here. Masters of the martial arts and the magic of ki, monks are unparalleled in the art of fighting without weapons, and also employ a wide variety of exotic armaments like shuriken or tonfas. 


Three monastic traditions are practiced here around the Guild. My friend Ju’Noh is a practitioner of the “Way of the Open Hand”.These are the most common monks, but that doesn’t make them any less formidable. Even among monks, their abilities to fight unarmed are peerless. The monks who follow the  “Way of Shadow ” are often referred to as ninjas. They can fight or sneak like a rogue and make for chilling assassins. The most visually spectacular tradition is the “Way of Four Elements,” monks who focus their ki to enhance their battle prowess with elemental magic.

“There you are Ju’Noh! Yes, it has been too long, meet my friend here. Perhaps you’d care to give them a demonstration? Oh certainly, I wouldn’t mind taking this to the wizard’s tower, we were actually headed there next…”